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News&Previews: Despite flat session, Piazza Affari ends an upbeat October

by Corrado Poggi

Piazza Affari closed with a sleepy trading session on Friday a very positive month of October that has allowed the Milan market to record a 5,3% gain over the September.

The last week was indeed quite important for the Italian stock market as it saw the much anticipated debut of Poste Italiane after another historic brand, Ferrari, went public in the States.

It was also a week of financial results for many key companies such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles which closed the last 3 month period with an unexpected loss and was hit with an initial response of discontent. The stock has then managed to recoup some of the losses but it ended the week with a 2.8% loss.

Another corporate giant was prominent in the news as Telecom Italia has gone progressively French with both Vivendi and Xavier Niel raising considerably their stock in the telecommunication company. On a macro level, investors heard from Mario Draghi what they're hoping to hear, namely that the ECB is considering enlarging its quantitative easing program and will announce its decisions early in December.

In absence of negative surprises, and considering the economy seems to be picking up further speed as acknowledged by Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, the barometer of the market is expected to remain on good weather in the next days.

The Markets in numbers
At the ring of the closing bell, the FTSE Mib index was unchanged while total turnover was €2.89 billion versus €3.61 billion on Thursday. The total number of trades was 248,081. Stocks traded on the broader FTSE All Share – which closed up 0.05% - were 333 of which 190 ended higher while 114 recorded a loss. 29 stocks were unchanged. The top 5 most traded stocks by turnover of the day were Telecom Italia, Intesa Sanpaolo, Eni, UniCredit and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Top Movers
A tragic accident involving one of its experimental new airplanes set a very somber tone for Finmeccanica which ended the day 2.38% lower at €11.90. The news about the accident, which happened in the North of the country and caused the death of two pilots, reversed investors mood towards the company after Finmeccanica had opened higher on Friday after announcing the clinching of a final deal to sell Ansaldo Sts and Ansaldo Breda to Hitachi after several months of negotiations. Regarding the future of the company, which January 1st 2016 will restructure its activities in 7 main division and will change its name, ceo Mauro Moretti said that any options to increase value is taken into consideration, including the possible issuing of tracking stocks to follow a specific segment of the company. At the moment however there are no concrete plans as the full attention of the company is on the launch of the “one company” plan.

Among other stocks, in the energy sector Enel Green Power closed up 0.79% at 1.92 euros amid expectations that its incorporation in parent company Enel could be at hand while a very strong presentation by ceo Carlo Messina did not keep Intesa Sanpaolo from closing down 1.55%. At an event at Expo, Messina said that his banking group will beat the targets set in its industrial plan. In the last two years, he said, Intesa Sanpaolo has doubled its market capitalization and the group is now among the great at a global level.